The Badulla trek:
A great train journey
The railway from Colombo to Badulla, approximately 300km or 180 miles
in length, ranks among the great train journeys in the world.
Starting from Colombo a few metres above sea level, it goes through
some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, racing across the
western plain replete with smiling paddy fields and joyous palm trees
swaying gracefully in the whispering wind and entering the hill country
at Rambukkana some 85km away.
From that point onwards it is a continuous struggle up the mountains,
except for a brief respite along the Mahaweli valley between Peradeniya
and Gampola-forging its way through 45 tunnels, hugging precipitous
slopes, leaping across rivers and streams, breathing the aroma of tea in
our verdant tea country, until it reaches the summit at Pattipola 6226
feet above sea level.
A foreigner once remarked that from the summit point on some day one
could almost touch the clouds.
From the summit the line descends into the Uva valley hastening
through marvels of engineering ingenuity to Badulla at an altitude of
2140 feet above sea level.